Ein Kruzifix ist beim Schlussgottesdienst des 102. Deutschen Katholikentags vor dunklen Wolken zu sehen. +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Those who go through hell … That would be a title for a consideration of the churches, especially the Catholic ones. There are still millions and millions of members in Germany, but the number is melting like snow in the sun. In 2021, around 360,000 Catholics left, 30 percent more than in the previous year, and that was a record.

Because you shouldn’t lie: It hasn’t gotten any better in the church system either. Because of departure. The synodal path, THE reform project, is not working. Because there is more to it than pious words. In other words: a real willingness to democratize. But that doesn’t please many church leaders; especially since it also sounds as if the Evangelical Church is at work. And they are not the orthodox. Besides, the Protestants aren’t doing well either. The zeitgeist is tugging everywhere.

Abuse, waste, ignorance of all possible changes – no wonder that the Bishops’ Conference paints the future black as cassocks. That’s why there are more and more who say: I don’t need all that anymore because the church is what it is. Only: You can change it. The mustiness of 1000 years has to go. More revolution than reformation – otherwise this year, 22, will be even worse.